- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that center Tiago Splitter, who suffered a sprained ankle during San Antonio’s first-round series against the Lakers, is healthy enough to rejoin tonight’s starting lineup. Splitter will be the third different partner for Tim Duncan in as many games, following in the footsteps of Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner. San Antonio is thus as healthy as it has been in weeks, if not months.
- For the Warriors, All-Star power forward David Lee may be available for limited action despite his torn right hip flexor. Golden State coach Mark Jackson said he saw more explosiveness out of Lee in practice yesterday. If Lee does play, “it won’t be for 20 or 25 minutes,” Jackson said. “It will be in short spurts.”
- Jackson wouldn’t reveal his lineup, which has changed often in Lee’s absence. The second-year coach admitted that he’s making moves in reaction to San Antonio’s starting five, so it bears watching to see what adjustment, if any, he makes to Splitter’s presence.
- Much of the NBA blogosphere is talking about what the Spurs can do to slow down Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who is third in the league in playoffs scoring at 26.5 points per game. But to Popovich, the bigger concern is his club’s 41.8 shooting percentage through two games against the Warriors. “We need to shoot the ball,” Popovich said. “We need to score. We’ve been shooting horribly, and that’s the big difference in the games. . . . [In Game 2], we win in the paint, we win second-chance points, we win fast-break points, we shoot more free throws, [but] we shot in the 30s again [39.3 percent]. That can’t be. We’re doing a lot of things pretty well. But you’ve got to put it in the basket.”
- San Antonio has used the tactic of deliberately fouling Warriors center Andrew Bogut, and he’s missed six of 10 free throws in this series. Jackson said that won’t deter him from using his 7-foot defensive anchor to close out games: “I’m comfortable with him on the floor and I’m confident that when it matters, he’s going to make them. So that’s not a concern at all.”
– Geoff Lepper